Yesterday morning, I had the privileged honor of photographing a piece of history. I was invited by the MSPCA to photograph Governor Deval Patrick as he signed S. 2192 into law. The air was hot and filled with an energy of joy and celebration as a crowd full of legislators, lawyers, senators and animal control officers waited outside of the Ashland Animal Control facility for Governor Patrick to arrive.
As I looked around at the faces in the expectant, smiling crowd – I realized that it would be impossible to be surrounded by better people. These are people who are selfless. People who have fought, day in and day out, against all odds for something that they believed in. These are people who are guardians for the helpless – voices for the voiceless. And yesterday, they were people who had won.
If you are unfamiliar with S. 2192, here is a summary of the main points of the bill, as quoted from http://www.mspca.org:
Summary of the bill:
- Create a statewide spay/neuter program to reduce the number of homeless animals in the Commonwealth and would, in turn, also reduce the cost to cities and towns for housing and sheltering these animals. This would be funded by a voluntary tax check off.
- Add enforcement provisions to section 139A (the spay/neuter deposit law for animals adopted from shelters and animal control facilities) to ensure these animals can’t reproduce.
- Require animal control officers to receive training. People are often surprised to learn that their local animal control officer is not required to receive training for the complicated work they do to keep the people and animals in their community safe. This would be funded by the tax check off.
- Prohibit carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide gas as a means to “euthanize” dogs and cats.
- Reduce dog bites by improving the dangerous dog law in a breed neutral manner.
- Allow pets to be included in domestic violence protection orders to protect both animals and people.
I am honored to have had the opportunity to be present at such an incredibly important turning point in the history of Massachusetts and it’s legislation in regards to animals.
I can’t accurately express my gratitude to the people who have worked tirelessly for a brighter, safer and more just future for our animals. It’s these people – people like Kara Holmquist (MSPCA’s Director of Advocacy), Linda Huebner (MSPCA’s Deputy Director of Advocacy), Senator Jehlen (Sponsor of S. 2192) and many others – that make fighting for a dream worth believing in.
Oh, happy day!
Until next time!
*Contact Kaylee Greer at email@example.com with any inquiries regarding any of the above photographs.